Specialist Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis Care from Bristol Care Homes

Finding specialist care for a loved one, family member or friend who has Motor Neurone Disease or Multiple Sclerosis in Bristol can be a real challenge as the conditions are both very complicated in their own rights. There are some nursing homes that agree to care for someone with either of these conditions, however, you should always look for a nursing home, like Bristol Care Homes, that has the condition listed as one of their specialist care categories.

A nursing home with the specialist categories of Motor Neurone or Multiple Sclerosis Care will have the experience needed, nurses on hand as required and will be able to give the exceptional care that your loved one needs.

At Bristol Care Homes we have dedicated teams in each of our 4 nursing homes in Bristol who provide outstanding care to our residents every day. We aim to provide excellence in all aspects of care for all of our residents, whatever their needs and this is evident in all 4 of our nursing homes located in and around Bristol.

Motor Neurone or Multiple Sclerosis Conditions & Care

What is Motor Neurone Disease?

Motor neurone disease (MND) is relatively uncommon and is a condition that affects the brain and nerve system. There are many different symptoms including; muscle weakness, twitching of the muscles and body, slurred speech as well as difficulty swallowing. Some people live with the disease for many years, however, the symptoms often worsen over time and it can be debilitating for a person living with it and difficult for the person caring for them.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for motor neurone disease, however, there are treatments that help to lessen the impact it has on a person’s life both physically and mentally and Bristol Care Homes can support with all of the treatment options available.

What is the treatment for Motor Neurone Disease?

Treatment for motor neuron disease varies by individual and their symptoms and can include; physiotherapy, speech therapy and different types of medication.

Treatment aims to ease and reduce a person’s symptoms as much as possible, lessening the impact the symptoms have on your life both physically and mentally.

Why do you get Motor Neurone Disease?

Cells in the brain and nerves which are called motor neurons gradually stop working overtime, however, it is still unknown why this happens and why to certain individuals. In most cases it affects people in their 60s and 70s, however, it can sometimes affect adults earlier than this.

What are the symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease?

Symptoms are often not obvious or apparent at first but they will gradually worsen over time and usually, a person will need specialist care at some point to support them living with the disease.

Symptoms Include:

    • You may start to trip more often and find it more difficult to walk up the stairs or walk in general. You may feel a weakness in your ankles or legs
    • Your speech may start to get slurred and this often develops into difficulty swallowing certain foods
    • You may start to drop things or find it hard to grip onto things with a decrease in your dexterity
    • Your muscles may start to cramp and twitch
    • You may experience weight loss
    • Your arms or leg muscles may decrease and become thinner over time
    • You can sometimes have difficulty in stopping yourself from crying or laughing in inappropriate situations and this can be very overwhelming and disturbing for people
    • Generally moving around will become increasingly difficult
    • Breathing can get increasingly difficult over time

How do you know if you have Motor Neurone Disease?

It is difficult to diagnose motor neurone disease in the early stages and there isn’t a single test for it. The difficulty in diagnosing it comes as several other conditions have very similar symptoms.

You will most likely be referred by your doctor to a neurologist who will have the experience and understanding of the disease to be more effective in its diagnosis.

Tests to diagnose Motor Neurone Disease

    • Blood tests
    • A scan of your brain and spine
    • Tests that measure the electrical activity in your muscles and nerves
    • Lumbar puncture tests the fluid from in your spine

Care after the diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease

When Motor Neurone Disease has been diagnosed you will be cared for by your GP and a team of specialists.

Specialist Treatments for Motor Neurone Disease

    • Specialist clinics with a motor neurone specialist nurse who will have the experience and understand to give you occupational therapy helping to make everyday tasks easier
    • Specialist physiotherapy and exercises to maintain your muscle strength as well as minimise stiffness in your muscles and joints
    • Support and advice from a speech and language therapist
    • Support and advice from a dietitian
    • There is a medication that can slow the progression of the disease
    • Medication to alleviate muscle stiffness and reduce saliva problems
    • Emotional support, guidance and advice to help you and your family or carer in an extremely frightening time
    • In extreme cases, a feeding tube may be needed if swallowing becomes really difficult
    • Breathing air through a face mask may also be needed in extreme cases

You can find useful information and advice from the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND Association).

What are the main aims of Specialist Motor Neurone Disease care?

Our specialist motor neurone disease care at Bristol Care Homes aims to ease the symptoms of the disease and support an individual to live their life in the best way they can. Our specialist nurses are on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will support the treatments to relieve the symptoms of the disease. Our caring team also has the experience to be able to support the different treatment options available. We work alongside your GP and specialist team to provide evolving care as the condition progresses. Our specialist chefs can also modify meals and snacks if swallowing becomes difficult.


Motor Neurone or Multiple Sclerosis CareWhat is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis also referred to as MS is a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. It is a chronic, progressive autoimmune condition that affects the central nervous system. This can cause many different symptoms and problems including; vision problems, arm and/or leg movement difficulty, sensation or balance issues.

MS is a lifelong condition that can eventually cause serious disability, however, this is not always the case and the symptoms can occasionally be mild.

It is possible to treat the symptoms of MS and this can help reduce the impact the disease has on a person’s physical and mental health. Unfortunately, it is most commonly diagnosed in people’s 20s and 30s, although this is not always the case and occasionally it can develop earlier and later in life. On average it is around 2 to 3 times more common in women compared to men.

MS can start with a gradual progression of the disease symptoms, or a person can be diagnosed with the condition and have relapses, attacks or exacerbations of the disease and symptoms.

It is an extremely challenging condition to live with, however, new treatments have been developed and progressed in the last 20 years which have considerably improved the quality of life of people who live with the condition.

What is the treatment for Multiple Sclerosis?

Like motor neurone disease there is no cure for MS at this point, however, there are different treatments that help to reduce the impact and control the disease.

The treatment given will depend on a person’s symptoms and will be individual to their needs.

    • Short courses of steroid medicine to speed up recovery after a relapse
    • Disease-modifying therapies and medications which reduce the number of relapses of MS Disease-modifying therapies can also help to slow or reduce the overall progression of the relapsing-remitting MS as well as an MS called secondary progressive MS who also have relapses. They aim to reduce the amount of damage and scarring to the myelin sheath which is associated with MS relapses
    • These treatments can also help to slow worsening disability in MS, however, definitive research into their long-term benefits is limited

Why do you get Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is an autoimmune condition that is a group of conditions in which when a body’s immune system goes wrong, it mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body, which in the case of MS is the brain and spinal cord of the nervous system.

In relation to MS, the body’s immune system attacks the layer that surrounds and protects the nerves called the myelin sheath. The sheath is then damaged and scarred as well as the underlying nerves and this slows and or disrupts the messages that travel along the nerves.

It is unclear as to what causes the autoimmune condition and why the immune system does what it does, however, most specialists believe it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?

The symptoms of MS will be different for every person and it depends on the type of MS if symptoms come and go progressively worsen over time.

Symptoms Include:

    • Tiredness and sometimes extreme fatigue
    • Difficulty in walking and not stumbling
    • Issues with balance and coordination
    • Problems with vision including blurred vision
    • Speech and swallowing difficulties
    • Bladder control problems
    • Bowel problems
    • A numb or tingling feeling in different parts of the body
    • Muscle stiffness, pain and twitching
    • Issues thinking logically, learning new things and planning

How do you know if you have Multiple Sclerosis?

If you think you may have MS then you should see your GP. They will assess your symptoms and will refer you to a neurologist who specialises in nervous system conditions.

Tests to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis

    • Blood tests
    • An MRI scan to check for features of MS
    • A lumbar puncture also referred to as a spinal tap
    • Evoked potential (EP) tests to measure the electrical activity in the brains response to stimulation, such as sound, touch, or sight

Care after the diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease

When MS has been diagnosed you will be cared for by your GP and you will be referred to a team of specialists.

Specialist Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

    • Specialist clinics with an MS specialist nurse who has the experience and understanding to help make everyday tasks easier
    • Specialist physiotherapy and exercises to maintain your muscle strength as well as minimise stiffness in your muscles and joints
    • Special exercises called vestibular rehabilitation to support balance problems
    • A speech and language therapist can help you find ways to overcome problems with speech and swallowing
    • Support and advice from a dietitian
    • Medicine for dizziness or tremors
    • Mobility aids, including a walking stick or occasionally a wheelchair
    • Home adaptations including stairlifts or railings to support movement around your home
    • Medication to relieve fatigue caused by MS, although this medicine can only have a limited effect
    • Medication to relieve neuropathic pain caused by damage to nerves which is normally a sharp stabbing pain
    • Advice on exercise, keeping healthy sleep patterns, energy-saving techniques and avoiding medication that can worsen fatigue
    • Steroid tablets which are taken at home after a relapse to speed up recovery which can also help with vision problems
    • Steroid injections are given in hospital for 3 to 5 days after a relapse to speed up recovery
    • If your muscle spasms are more severe, you can be prescribed a medicine that can relax them. These are trial and error and individual to the person as to how effective they are and the side effects
    • Emotional support, guidance and advice to help you and your family or carer in an extremely frightening time

You can find useful information and advice from two organisations, The MS Society and The MS Trust who offer advice, publications, news items about ongoing research, blogs and chatrooms.

There are many therapies currently being researched across the world aiming to treat progressive MS.

What are the main aims of Specialist Multiple Sclerosis care?

Our specialist Multiple Sclerosis Care at Bristol Care Homes aims to ease the symptoms of the condition whilst supporting an individual to live their life in the best way they can. Our expert nurses are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in each of our nursing homes and they will support a person’s individual treatment plan to relieve their symptoms. Our caring team has the experience to support the different treatment options available and we work alongside your GP and specialist team to provide changing care as your condition progresses. Our expert chefs are also able to modify our meals and snacks if swallowing does become difficult.


About Bristol Care Homes

Bristol Care Homes Registered Care Categories with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

    • Dementia
    • Old Age
    • Physical Disability
    • Sensory Impairment

Bristol Care Homes Specialist Care Categories (Motor Neurone or Multiple Sclerosis included)

    • Alzheimer’s
    • Bariatric Care/Obesity
    • Cancer Care
    • Challenging Behaviour
    • Colitis & Crohn’s Disease
    • Head/Brain Injury
    • Hearing Impairment
    • Huntington’s Disease
    • Motor Neurone Disease
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Muscular Dystrophy
    • Orthopaedic
    • Parkinson’s Disease
    • Speech Impairment
    • Stroke
    • Visual Impairment

Other Care Provided

    • Convalescent Care
    • Day Care
    • Own GP if required
    • Palliative Care
    • Physiotherapy
    • Respite Care
    • Separate Specialist Dementia Care Unit

We understand that having or being diagnosed with Motor Neurone or Multiple Sclerosis can be extremely scary and unsettling but we are here to support and help you and your family to decide if full-time care is needed or if respite care is an option for you.

Our experienced team will help you decide which of our homes is best suited to your needs and we commit to supporting you through this difficult time and decision and help you understand what your care options are when it comes to Motor Neurone or Multiple Sclerosis.

We are an independently owned, group of 4 high-quality nursing homes located in different areas around Bristol. We have dedicated teams who have worked for us for many years who provide quality and compassionate care services every day. Our primary aim is to provide excellence in all aspects of care for all of our residents.

We are always looking to be creative and innovative in our services and we offer many features which will ensure you or your loved one maintain a high level of fulfilment and independence in life.

Many of our services are unique to Bristol Care Homes and Include:

    • Beautiful gardens with plenty of greenery, trees and flowers
    • Environmentally designed buildings with 24/7 air circulation always keeping the atmosphere fresh and airy
    • Spacious rooms with increased ceiling height giving the feel of openness
    • Wide corridors for ease of access
    • Television, DVD Player and direct line telephones in each room
    • Internet access in residents rooms
    • Customised top quality wheelchairs provided when needed
    • High technology baths and walk-in showers
    • Minibus services with a regular schedule of trips
    • Regular maintenance and replacement cycles of new carpets and decoration
    • Top Quality chefs producing tasty, varied and nutritious meals
    • Programme of interesting and stimulating social activities for all our residents including Animal Therapy
    • Warm, friendly and caring staff who get to know each resident and take time with them every day to ensure they are happy and fulfilled

If you are looking for Motor Neurone Care or Multiple Sclerosis Care in Bristol contact us today to find out how we can help you and your family.